Minnesota man convicted in La Crosse camera store slaying


A jury has convicted Jeffery Lepsch, of Dakota, Minn., in the September slaying of La Crosse camera store owner Paul Petras, 56, and his 19-year-old son, A.J., the La Crosse Tribune reports.

A panel of seven men and five women spent four hours mulling the case in which Lepsch was accused of killing the two men and then stealing $17,000 worth of equipment from the now-closed store, the newspaper reports.

“The family is very satisfied ... but it’s hard to be happy,” La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said. “There are a lot of unanswered questions about why and what happened in that store.”

Lepsch was convicted of a Class A felony, so he will receive mandatory life in prison, WKBT in La Crosse reported. A judge will decide whether Lepsch would be eligible for the possibility of parole, the station reports.

Lepsch’s lawyer had called the case against his client a “mirage” and told jurors that prosecutors were asking for “the benefit of the doubt,” the La Crosse newspaper reported.

Lepsch's wife was among those that testified in the case, saying that her husband after the slayings had seemed "the same as he always did."

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